131

Ron Di Salvio: Essence of Green

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Ron Di Salvio: Essence of Green Essence of Green is pianist/composer Ron Di Salvio's nod to the music created by Miles Davis and his sextet on the classic album, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). The sound that opens the album on "Six Shades of Green" is unmistakable: that elastic, slow-loping rhythm from Davis' "All Blues," with bassist Rodney Whitaker front-and-center here, backed by a simmering, just-a-hint ahead-of-the-beat drummer wielding the sticks with sublime subtlety and a gentle, implacable forward drive.

That's Jimmy Cobb in the drummer's chair, The Jimmy Cobb, from the original Kind of Blue date. He is masterfully understated throughout, supplying always impeccable time and light textures.

Miles Davis created a wide range of sound in his long career—from the bop of his Charlie Parker sideman days in the late forties and early fifties, though the modal attack of the mid-sixties into the fusion birth of the late sixties and early seventies. A tribute to take it all in would never work. Di Salvio's zeroing in on the 1959 time frame makes perfect sense, especially since his sound—a light touch, the impossibly beautiful clustering of chords—parallels the Wynton Kelly/Bill Evans approach.

The line-up—saxophones and trumpet with the rhythm team—mirrors Davis' late fifties band. Compositionally, the tunes allow the same freedom to improvise, creating a hundred small magical moments: Jimmy Cobb's soft rumble behind trumpeter Derrick Gardner's very Miles-like muted trumpet on "Miles Davis-Bill Evans Reunion in the Sky"; the well-placed space between De Salvio's chords on the same tune; Gardner's long stretched open horn line sounding like something from Davis' Milestones (Columbia, 1958) album; the emergence of the silken four-part vocal harmony on "Essence of Green" and Diego Rivera's restrained yet deeply soulful tenor sax solo on the tune.

The addition of the vocal quartet on two tunes—a gorgeously pure melding of four human voices on "Essence of Green" and "Good Morning Santa Cruz"—is an unusual move that works wonderfully, and makes one wonder why it isn't done more often in jazz.

Ron Di Salvio's Essence of Green pays tribute to Miles Davis' 1959 sound rather than recreate it. It is a brilliantly-conceived, beautifully-executed work.


Track Listing: Six Shades of Green; Crossing Lines; Green Pastures; Essence of Green; Primavera; Cobb's Throb; Miles Davis-Bill Evans Reunion in the Sky; Good Morning Santa Cruz; Arcadia; Wasabi.

Personnel: Derrick Gardner: trumpet; Diego Rivera: tenor saxophone; Pat Terbrack: alto saxophone; Ken Morgan: flute, baritone saxophone; Ron Di Savio: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums; vocals (4, 8): Aubrey Johnson: soprano; Johnaye Kendrick: alto; Andy Inglat: tenor; JC Coffey: bass.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Instant Oats" CD/LP/Track Review Instant Oats
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!